By Elliot Foster
Josh Kelly has been ruled out of his fight Saturday night on medical grounds.
The Sunderland stylist, who is 8-0 (6 KOs), had been set to fight David Avanesyan.
Kelly was meant to come up against the Russian former WBA ‘regular’ world champion at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, England, exclusively live on Sky Sports, as part of the supporting cast to Kell Brook’s WBA super-welterweight title final eliminator showdown against Michael Zerafa.
But the fight will have to be rescheduled after Kelly fell ill after weighing in Friday.
“It’s been hard to say the least,” Kelly wrote on social media. “Not fighting because of illness doesn’t only affect me, it affects others around me as well and for that I’m sorry.”
Kelly only boxed last month, at Manchester Arena, when he took out Walter Fabian Castillo inside a round on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s eighth-round knockout defeat at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk.
“After weighing in [for the fight against Avanesyan], I didn’t feel tip-top health-wise and [I] thought it would get better but it got progressively worse.
“The bugs going around this time of year are rife and I’ve happened to come down with something this close to a fight and that’s killed me inside. [I have] a feeling [that] my pride has been damaged and that is the worst part of all.”
Kelly went on to say that he was sorry to Avanesyan and his team and that when he returns to action in 2019, the fight will be his first of the New Year.
Brook’s clash with Zerafa, for the right to face Jarrett Hurd, the world champion, is still flanked by some stellar action.
The card will feature Anthony Fowler in action against Jose Carlos Paz over 10 rounds, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist’s fellow Team GB 2016 Olympian Qais Ashfaq as well as Kid Galahad.
Jono Carroll will take on Guillaume Frenois in an official final eliminator for Tevin Farmer’s IBF super-featherweight world title and there is action for Callum Hancock, Shakiel Thompson and Stefy Bull-managed duo Terri Harper and Anthony Tomlinson.
Elliot Foster is the UK editor for BoxingScene.com and the boxing correspondent for Liverpool ECHO.